The Political Class: At War with Each Other and on the Rest of Us

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,” President John F. Kennedy said in a 1962 speech, “will make violent revolution inevitable.” Nearly 60 years later, two warring groups within the American political class seem resolutely determined to make “peaceful revolution” — by which JFK seems to have meant orderly democratic decision-making — impossible.

Homeless Camping in Austin: A Modest Proposal

This winter, I’m a visiting scholar at the University of Texas.  Though Austin is gorgeous, visitors can’t help but notice vast homeless villages scattered throughout the city.  Local sources tell me that this is driven by Austin’s repeal of the ban on homeless camping.  One of the economists I’ve met here has written a Swiftian proposal for reforming Austin’s approach.  The author prefers to remain anonymous, but this is printed with his permission.  Engage your sense of satire, and enjoy!

Hey Tough Guy, I Call BS; They Will Take Your Guns from Warm Compliant Hands

For many years I have heard the tired old comments about government agents prying guns from cold dead hands. I recall a man with 300 partners on a mountain pass once said something similar, but he demonstrated through his actions that he actually meant it. I don’t think YOU really mean it. Your contemporary bravado is fine if we accept it for what it is. In truth, are YOU really THAT resolute & tough?

Extrication

With respect to libertarianism, I’m far past the point where I’m really interested in changing other people’s minds. Ultimately, I don’t care what or how you think at all. I only care that if what you believe is something that calls for the control of my life and/or property, that I’m able to find some way to extricate myself from your plans.

Don’t Pickpocket Your Students

Imagine you’re a professor somewhere.  You here rumors of the creation of a new Office of Student Property Security.  “Whatever,” you think. Yet before long, you’re summoned to a brand-new mandatory training session run by certified officers of Student Property Security.  At this session (in-person back in the old days; now Zoom of course), they give you a tortoise-paced 90-minute Powerpoint presentation on the student property crisis and the appropriate faculty response.  And the whole spiel can be readily summarized in a single commandment: “Don’t pickpocket your students.” To me, such a training session would be insulting, pointless, and unhinged.